BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV., MAJORITY LEADER: Now is the time for the Republicans to move past this happy talk about revenues, ill-defined, of course, and put specifics on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right. Did you just hear what I just heard? Listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Happy talk about revenues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Happy talk? Well, I do not think that Georgia Republican Tom Price is too happy about that characterization.
CAVUTO: Happy talk, what do you make of that?
REP. TOM PRICE, R-GA.: Well, not at all, Neil. I am stunned at the happy talk that the Democrats have and the president has in their glee to raise taxes. And in fact it seems like they want to raise tax rates more than they want a vibrant economy. We are interested in revenue and we're interested in spending reductions because we believe it will revitalize the economy and create jobs.
If tax rate increases created jobs, we would have a wealth of jobs across this country. The fact is, we don't and we need to do what gets jobs. And that's not raising taxes.
CAVUTO: Are you saying, no, no, no to any adjustment in that top rate then? That is a nonstarter with you?
PRICE: I am saying what we are interested in is a real solution. And raising tax rates doesn't solve the problem.
CAVUTO: That is not what I asked. That is not what I asked. I want other be clear because I'm a little slow.
If the latest offer apparently from the White House that it is seriously considering maybe splitting the difference between the top rate where it is now at 35 and where the Clinton top rate was at 39.6, maybe make it 37, 38, would Tom Price reject that?
PRICE: Absolutely, because it doesn't solve the problem. It doesn't even get us in the right direction and in fact it moves us further away from the right direction.
CAVUTO: Any rate hike to you rate non grata?
PRICE: Is unacceptable because it doesn't solve the problem.
CAVUTO: Where is your revenue? You know the pressure, Congressman. Where is your revenue concessions?
PRICE: We have put solutions on the table through our budget, through closing loopholes, limiting deductions, limiting credits, all the kinds of things that were in our budget. We have solved the sequester problem through our reconciliation package.
And we have put on the stable table positive solutions that actually save, strengthen and secure Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. And the other side refuses to come to the table with any spending reductions whatsoever. It's the president's turn. It's your move, Mr. President. Let's go.
CAVUTO: I think there is something to what you say, Congressman, that there has been an unusual onus in the mainstream media on Republicans to say give us the specifics of your plan, when we are not seeing comparable specifics in spending cuts. Your point is well-taken.
I do want to though get a sense from you when you say open to other ideas on revenues, like closing loopholes and limiting deductions and write-offs, that sort of thing.
The president's folks say it will have to at least equal the revenue you would get from reverting back to the Clinton era rates. Could you and would you endorse limiting deductions and special allowances to the point that they presumably raise the same amount of money that you would get returning to the Clinton era rates?
PRICE: It depends where the spending reductions are. Remember, this equation is part revenue and part spending reductions. The president previously said he wanted three-part spending reductions to one-part revenue increases, tax increases. Where are the spending reductions? That is what we need to see and then we can talk about the specifics on this side.
CAVUTO: When you hear Chuck Schumer talk about we already made some painful spending decisions that should be -- I think he's hinting at -- factored into these talks and discussion, is that not double accounting and is that not repeating what were already-agreed-to cuts?
PRICE: Absolutely. That's what they tried last time. The spending reductions that have already occurred have not reduced our deficit. Remember, we still have, the president still has a $1 trillion plus deficit for this next fiscal year. He has had for the past four and he has got for the next four if he follows the same course. That is not a road to prosperity and it's also not a road to job creation and economic vitality.
CAVUTO: Congressman, here -- if you would just bear with me, I want to be very clear. You guys do not all seem -- that is, Republicans, do not appear to be on the same page on this. Are you saying that your view, hiking the rates or dealing -- adjusting them in any way is felt universally by your colleagues
Now, we already know a couple have bolted off from that, but that you are going to hold in lockstep on that position?
PRICE: Look, there is not universality in our conference. There are 240 of us in the House of Representatives, so there are 240 different opinions.
PRICE: But, by and large, the majority of us firmly believe that raising tax rates is counterproductive and doesn't solve the problem.
CAVUTO: OK. All right, Congressman, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you.
PRICE: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: Right. Sure.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT